Melt Yourself Down – a sevenstrong progressive World Music collective featuring members of Acoustic Ladyland and other jazz-funk nuts
play the sort of brash carnival music that ends up being the highlight of your festival.
It’s the kind of boisterous, brass-heavy music that makes the Bacardi bar the place to be at 2pm, not the main stage and all its singer/songwriter dross.
Melt Yourself Down attack like dancehall-gone-goofy on this eponymous debut album, only they play too fast for any kind of reggaeton skank to keep up.
This is probably what ‘punk funk’ really sounds like – Afro party music pushed to its aggressive end, cowbells dented, the saxophone demented and wheezing.
It also sounds like the band are having more fun than you are, even as you wriggle your arse over from the bar with pint of cider in a paper cup
“In some sense there was this magic chemistry between Dev and I,” she explains,
“but I certainly spent a year or so creating and developing this sound – studying Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis,
studying those records and the songwriting, really trying to understand why those songs were so powerful.”
You can hear traces of that endeavour in the EP’s lead track ‘Losing You’, a sultry groove that snakes around
gushing synths and huge handclaps while Solange delivers a restrained and distinctly retro vocal over the top.
But for all its smoothness, there’s a rough edge to the production that hints at the song’s indie
credentials and makes it unlikely fodder for today’s steroid-pumped, spray-tanned, maximum-volume charts.
Solange and Dev met while working on a track for rapper Theophilus London, and the unlikely pair immediately
forged the kind of instinctive connection that’s a rare find in the world of pop writing.
“I mean, I’ve been a songwriter since I was 13, and a lot of the stuff that I wrote for Destiny’s Child or my sister was in these writing sessions where you don’t know the producer very well,
you have no background on who you’re working with in terms of their lives or their walks of life,” she says.
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